An Encounter with Art
There are objects of art which do not need much explaining to be fathomed. Those are the ones that within themselves, in their meaning, contain something universal. They sometimes suggest an unclear notion about something that we have never seen or experienced, but they represent excerpts out of the archives of our universal heritage.
The paintings of Maja Soric belong to this heritage, a genre of alternating styles, but have a matrix of experience within which one can recognize the universal theory towards which every artist inclines to uncover. In here paintings we can identify the strange reality which can affect the observer with an almost hypnotic magic. That is the same reality, which contains "all the dust and the lunacy of the Middle East " as Henry Miller stated regarding this area, in the prologue to Durrell's "Alexandria Quartet".
Our concepts regarding the Middle East are often on the edge of banal illusions, banal paintings, bad souvenirs, and even worse copies. However, between the authentic art from the Arab-Islamic world (not discussing Pharaonic art), and the contemporary art inspired by this region, there lies a great emptiness, an area that hides the artistic phenomena, which is difficult to portray. It is difficult because the potential energy of the Oriental magic lies between the real and the altered, the past and the future, life and death, the obvious and the enigmatic. These elements blend and mold together in Maja's paintings. She presents these elements through urban scenarios, which speak about her experiences of Egypt and the Middle East These experiences have become a part of Maja's personality.
Those that have ever physically touched this region, know how laborious it is to tame the spirit which wanders between enchantment and disillusionment. The powerful centripetal force of the Middle East isolates every feeling within itself. In order to portray this concept so it does not appear banal, one needs a characteristic, which overwhelms this centripetal force and uncovers the magic with which it can be portrayed. the poet verbally, the painter visually. The poet paints his picture with words, while the painter writes his poems with a brush.
Maja Soric has managed to express that amazing enchantment with colors and composition. Her colors are earthly and of the sand, the vital colors of the Egyptian soil. She brings to life the mystical magic of the Middle East with her rich cocktail of colors. The monochromatic desert region combined of light and shadow, she transmogrifies into a virtual opus of colors, never betraying the distinguished character of the desert. The magical spell is magnified with the use of symmetrical kaleidoscopic composition, often embedded in the reflections and images of objects flowering in all directions, mostly above and under an imaginary line. Through this process, Maja harmoniously provides insight into the Ether and the Underworld, the upper and lower regions, which can be compared to the remark inspired by Venice “like a pyramid on water”. In Maja's case, the mystical city of sand has it's own reflection in the sand, and it's own divine quality. In a magnificent way, Maja changes the typical Arab cubical architecture, into an artist's vision. She does this by allowing light to penetrate through a dense shadow, achieving not only rhythm and perspective, which this architecture has already, but also creating dreamy scenarios with real and illusionary entrances and exits, enchanted by paths that promise unimaginable secrets.
Maja's paintings testify that in this land of Egypt , she has placed herself firmly between Osiris and Seth; one ruling the plant life, the other ruling the desert. There Maja has found a place for herself, between color and the shadow, between the dark and the light, "between herself and Herself" (as V. Krmpotic would say), between her consciousness and subconscious. However, Maja's true power lies in her special place, which also becomes ours, she guides us into it, into her imaginary city: "The city will come with you; in those same streets you shall wonder endlessly, in those same spiritual suburbs you shall slide from youth till old age", so says Kavafi. In this way Maja, with her paintings she suggests the infinite invisible and the eternal obscurity that surrounds us, which imply a maturity of artistic and personal experience.
Written by Dora Kinert-Bucan in Croatian Translated by Ratko Ivekovic